National Assembly Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo was on Monday under siege from “netizens” (social media users) over a Bill that he has tabled in Parliament.
Disowned by Minority Leader Francis Nyenze and facing resistance from fellow members of Parliament, the Bill, which seeks to regulate betting, was the fodder of social media, where betting ‘experts’ and ‘political analysts’ took turns to dissect both the Bill and its proposer.
With the precision of a cardiac surgeon, Kenyans on Twitter (KOT), under the hashtag #MidiwoExposed, spent the better part of Monday tracing every capillary, vein and artery that might have contributed to the lifeline of the Bill and the sinews that help to pump blood to the Gem MP.
M’’ Wech @m_wech wrote: “Betting is not killing anybody, if you think you care about Kenyans propose a bill to fight drugs, alcohol and corruption.”
Tony Mwai @TONYMWAI2 added: “Behind every barking dog there is an owner.”
Hon. Jakoyo Midiwo @Midiwo hit back: “I know the cartels behind this hashtag and I won’t be intimidated by online shenanigans who are lowly paid to defame others.”
To which 01peter blessed @revmwa46 replied: “You are also a cartel working behind the scenes to benefit from it but the owners wamekaa ngumu (have hardened their position).”
AbetaUnBounded wrote: “I told you before NASA is corrupt but you didn’t agree … Now they’re looking for money for their master – PhaRao.”
BRIBE GREEDY MPS
Cornelius Ruto @Corneliusruto asked: “Midiwo claims that some people have been paid to make the hashtag trend. Why does he not pay them to remove the stuff?”
The MP, however, got support from some users, with joe wacira @joe_wacira posting: “Hon Jakoyo I support you 100% … we the youth have become ‘zombies’ ‘addicts’ to these gambling sites. Way to go.”
Njue @NjueSimon added: “Midiwo exposed thieves/cartels now they are fighting back. Go right ahead @Midiwo. They must fall.”
Wrote @githaka_: “Haha Midiwo tried to introduce a bill curbing betting and now we have #MidiwoExposed. It doesn’t need a genius to figure who paid for this.”
Scholarly @scholartude added: “Betting bill will be shot down by parliament. Betting houses can spend to bribe greedy MPs to safeguard future billions.”
The “Midiwo Bill” proposes to increase tax on betting firms from 7.5 per cent to 15 per cent of revenue, lottery tax from five per cent to 20 per cent of turnover, gaming tax from 12 per cent to 20 per cent of revenue and prize competition tax from 15 per cent to 20 per cent.
The draft law also proposes a “winnings tax” at the rate of 20 per cent of the amount that a lottery winner is paid.